Mrs Greville would have been so proud… Not only did the National Trust welcome more than 11,300 people into her former home over four Edwardian Christmas weekends, a welcome this inveterate hostess stipulated when she bequeathed Polesden Lacey to them, but they followed this with the creation in the grounds of a 2m high ice statue of the lady herself!
Hamilton Ice Sculptures, the first professional ice sculpting company in the UK who have worked for many famous clients including Elton John and Justin Timberlake, were invited to come to Polesden on the last weekend of 2012 to create two unique pieces in front of visitors.
“Many of our sculptures are created behind closed doors” said Jack Hackney, one of just four expert craftsmen on the Hamilton Ice Sculptor team, “so it was refreshing to be able to showcase how we work and to be able to answer questions. Working in the outdoors after all the rain we’ve had lately also presented a lot of challenges, but I was really pleased with the results.”
Andrea Selley, Polesden’s General Manager, was also very pleased “There was so much interest before the event, and Ben and Jack certainly didn’t disappoint. We moved the ice sculpting point up to the Stable Courtyard so that visitors could enjoy watching the team at work from under our canopy. The weather hasn’t been on our side, but we still wanted to allow as many people to enjoy the experience as possible.’’
Following the success of the Christmas weekends, Santa’s elves have also been busy the past few weeks replying to the nearly 1,200 letters sent to him by children whilst visiting Polesden. It was heart warming to see that the most popular presents requested were traditional favourites, the top three being: dolls, lego and remote control cars.